Remember John Park? He was the cute Asian semifinalist/Northwestern student who’s boots Shania Twain wanted under her bed. During his two weeks in the Idol semifinals, he put us to sleep with stale ballads, which was a shame! It also made me sad, as I always root for Asians and the college-educated on American Idol. College-educated Asians on American Idol can never catch a break.
But if you’re John Park, you don’t need American Idol! Park recently auditioned for Super Star K (aka Korean Idol). Korean Idol auditions also take place at the swimming pool of a posh mansion. This round takes place in Los Angeles. By a swimming pool. I swear it is a swimming pool that has been used on America’s Next Top Model during some cycle. Even though Park sings that dreadful Alicia Keys songs about diamond rings and wanting everything, he also sang a Korean pop song. Of course he made it through! The Korean hipster judges also tells American Idol they don’t know what’s up for losing John Park. I kind of agree, although I do worry his repertoire is limited to lame ballads I want to murder.
If you’re wondering whether or not Korean-American John Park could be a huge star in Korea, it’s not an unlikely career path by any stretch. For example, one of China and Taiwan’s biggest stars is Leehom Wang. Leehom was born and raised in Rochester, NY. During college, Leehom visited his grandparents in Taiwan, where his grandmother entered him into a talent competition. He signed a recording contract. Today, Elvis of the East is one of the most popular recording artists in Asia and has expanded into acting, starring in Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution and alongside Jackie Chan in Little Big Soldier.
Leehom and John Park both belonged to a capella groups during college, and both entered talent competitions in Asia while visiting relatives. Both are attractive guys. Little girls scream over Leehom Wang. Hell, even one of the 26-year-old design associates at my work squeals like a 13-year-old if you even mention the name Leehom Wang. Perhaps John Park will be the Leehom Wang of Korea, who knows, but I have a feeling he will go much farther on Super Star K, even if Shania Twain is not a guest judge. (And then there was that whole thing where he said he wasn’t going to pursue a music career, but hey, it just proves you should never say never. Especially when its part of your heart and Seoul.)
(Thanks to Trish for the tip!)